Kenyan pilots are pressuring their government to suspend commercial and chartered flights to South Sudan in an effort to release their detained colleagues in Akobo.

The captives were identified by the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Ministry as Captain Frank Njoroge and the Co-pilot, Kennedy Shamalla.

The men were reportedly held by an armed group after their plane crashed and killed one person and some heads of cattle in Akobo.

The captors are demanding for 200,000 US dollars in order to release the pilots.

“The continued captivity of the two Kenyan pilots is in total contravention of their Human Rights and poses a potential risk to their health and well-being,” read a press statement by the Kenya Airline Pilots Association.

“We call on the Government of Kenya, and all parties involved in the negotiations with the government of South Sudan to fast-track the immediate release of the two pilots.”

The association further urged all Kenya commercial and chartered operators to withhold flights to Akobo.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mawien Makol, said the government is not aware of any plans by the Kenyan pilots.

Earlier, the UN Mine Action Service said it was working with all parties to secure the release of the detained Kenyan pilots.

The UNMAS Chief, Tim Lardner, said the aircraft was chartered on the 7th of January by an organization contracted by UNMAS.

via Eye radio